KC MOliere: 400 in 2022, Inc.
The year 2022 will showcase Kansas City’s French heritage with a city-wide celebration of Molière’s 400th birthday. The kick-off party on his birthdate, Saturday 15 January, will launch a season of Molière plays, Molière-inspired new works, and French neoclassical and Baroque works embracing all of the arts: theatre, dance, music, film, puppetry, visual arts, and literary arts.
Leaders of Kansas City’s major arts organizations and educational institutions in all of those areas have signed on to participate. The fall months leading up to the January 2022 kick-off will be devoted to educational programming and academic productions.
2022 also marks a significant anniversary in Kansas City’s historic linkage to France: the 200th anniversary of the first full year of operation of the Chouteau Trading Post on the banks of the Missouri River. Kansas City, Missouri (KC MO), was founded and first settled by French families (Chouteau, Prudhomme, Rivard, Fournais, and others). March 2019 brought the ribbon-cutting for a sculpture of François Chouteau with two Osage natives to be unveiled on a new fountain in 2022.
Besides reinvigorating Kansas City’s French connection for the next generation, the six-month KC MOlière celebration will offer a much-needed opening up to the classics as well as to the non-English-speaking world. Within the city and the Missouri Valley region, the project will nurture collaborations among arts and educational institutions; we are especially interested in outreach to elementary and secondary schools.